Innovate and Collaborate on R&D While Protecting Trade Secrets and Patient Information

New drugs are expensive and time-consuming to test and develop. Much of the research utilizes sensitive technology, techniques, and proprietary compounds that are the developing company’s trade secrets. The protection of trade secrets and intellectual property (IP) continues to be a critical challenge facing pharmaceutical and life science businesses.

Trade secrets, including new product formulas, innovative manufacturing processes, marketing plans, clinical trial data, and test results, must be protected in compliance with corporate governance. Confidential patient information from participants in new drug trials must be protected in compliance with privacy regulations.

To optimize corporate resources and minimize development expenses, many pharmaceutical companies rely heavily on collaboration with suppliers, academic research institutions, outside scientists, and joint ventures or partnerships with other drug companies. However, collaboration presents a strong risk of exposing trade secrets or other core intellectual property (IP).

Static access controls currently used by many companies and research institutions do little to prevent intellectual property loss after authorized user access is granted. It is unrealistic to expect users to always follow manual procedures to protect IP.

The NextLabs Life Sciences and Pharmaceuticals solution provides:

  • Centralized policies to control distribution of sensitive information to other internal users who are not on the same project or authorized to see specific project information.
  • Automation of approval process workflow to gain access to sensitive information.
  • Rights management to ensure confidentiality when information is shared with the extended supply chain and other partners.
  • Endpoint security to ensure intellectual property can only be downloaded from and uploaded to approved locations, and shared via email with certain parties only if authorized.

Companies can now protect intellectual property by ensuring safe and appropriate data access, use, and sharing. The solution applies business policies across repositories where IP is stored, and at endpoints where applications are used. The solution enforces controls across heterogeneous applications and systems, such as molecular modeling or design, and other chemical and bioinformatics computational tools, to protect trade secrets and IP throughout the entire lifecycle.

Centralized Policy Management

Companies can now centralize access entitlements and data handling policies. The solution educates users about policies and procedures, and automates protection when drug design and delivery teams collaborate. Policies are enforced in real time by evaluating attributes about the user – position, project, location; the data – type, classification, repository; and the environment – network, device, time; to apply precise controls.

Internal Barriers and Data Segregation

Protection includes conflict of interest activity monitoring and controls to ensure drug design and process IP stays within the project and is only shared with authorized recipients. Sensitive information can only be uploaded to designated repositories to ensure compliance and security. Policy assistants help to automate safe access and handling, and also to educate users about using data properly.

Integrated Rights Management

Protection is maintained when IP is shared internally and outside of the enterprise. Documents and files of any type are automatically encrypted and protected upon upload and download from applications and remain protected throughout the sharing cycle. Policies are applied and attributes are reviewed at the time of access request to determine if the recipient meets all of the criteria. Rights are applied when the data access is granted so data utilization can be restricted to view only, print, edit and download.

Centralized Monitoring & Reporting

Comprehensive audit and reporting capability achieves centralized visibility to ensure project life cycle and program confidentiality, and compliance with standards and contractual agreements. Centralized visibility and dashboards enable organizations to discover and identify abnormalities or suspicious behavior. The solution’s auditing and reporting capabilities make it easy to maintain compliance and streamline audit reporting.



To ensure proper information handling and disclosure, aligned with business policies, companies are now moving beyond basic access controls and entitlements that only determine “who can access what.”



Learn about protecting highly sensitive IP and automating GxP compliance through the use of automated policies.



Learn how SAP Idea to Performance provides solutions for Sustainable Innovation to increase collaboration and reduce cost.